MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — University of Texas officials are targeting Oliver Luck to become the school’s next athletics director, though they plan to interview multiple candidates this week, according to multiple media outlets.
“It is Oliver Luck’s job to lose,” a source told Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News. “He’s No. 1 and No. 1A on their list. Then there’s everybody else.”
That source indicated Luck could be hired by Dec. 1, the day after West Virginia’s football team concludes its regular season.
Luck became West Virginia’s athletics director in June 2010, overseeing a department that generated $80 million in 2012, ranking 28th nationally. That’s less than half the $163 million Texas brought in last year, which was more than $21 million better than No. 2 Ohio State.
However, the political in-fighting between UT president Bill Powers and several university regents will almost certainly impact the AD search. Luck’s inclination regarding the retention of Longhorns football coach Mack Brown also could sway the advisory committee. The pending retirement of current Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds is viewed by some influential boosters as the perfect time to replace Brown, whose teams have gone just 15-15 in Big 12 play since losing the 2009 BCS national championship game.
“Disregard the notion that West Virginia’s Oliver Luck is a done deal as the new Texas athletic director, although I still consider him the front-runner and best person for the job,” wrote long-time columnist Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesmen. “The seven-member advisory group to school President Bill Powers won’t even begin interviews until this week, and they will talk to candidates from all five of the major football conferences …”
Several Texas outlets have indicated that Arizona State’s Steve Patterson—like Luck, a UT law school graduate—is another top candidate. While Patterson has only been an AD since March 2012, he previously served as COO of Sun Devils athletics and possesses NBA and NFL management experience, working as GM of the Houston Rockets and senior vice president of the Houston Texans.
Other high-profile ADs, such as Notre Dame’s Jack Swarbrick, Louisville’s Tom Jurich, Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione and Michigan State’s Mark Hollis, reportedly are committed to their current positions and are not being considered.